For average situation, compliance will not necessarily result

For
thousands of years, dams have been used to store water and to create
energy.  However, 90 percent of global dam investments have been made
after 1950, both in terms of the millions of small or medium sized dams and the
thousands of dams higher than 50m.  The characteristics of these dams vary greatly. 
This article gives basic data concerning dams and reservoirs, explains the
reasons for typical dam designs and construction methods, and underlines the
importance of the study of reservoirs’ environmental impact.  It tries to
forecast the future of dams, and considers whether dams will contribute to the
development of the world’s poorest countries in the next century, much as they
did for the world’s richest countries in the last Dams engineering requires
understanding and control of the enormous forces and potential energy of water.
From foundation and seismic assessments through to geotechnical, hydrological,
hydraulic, mechanical and structural design, projects demand in-depth
skills and a coordinated, client-focussed approach The Department of Environmental
Conservation receives many requests for detailed information about designs for
dams requiring a permit under Article 15, Section 0503 of the Environmental
Conservation law. This brochure has been developed by the department for the
general guidance of design engineers. These guidelines represent professional
judgment of the Dam Safety Section’s staff engineers. The guidelines convey
sound engineering practices in an average situation. Where unusual conditions
exist and the guidelines are not applicable, it is the duty of the design
engineer to notify the department which will then consider deviation from the
guidelines. Since these are only general guidelines for small dam construction
in an average situation, compliance will not necessarily result in approval of
the application. The determination by the department of the acceptability of
the design and adequacy of the plans and specifications will be made on a
case-by-case basis. The primary responsibility of proper dam design shall
continue to be that of the applicant. In the administration of this law, the
department is concerned with the protection of both the health, safety and
welfare of the people and the conservation and protection of the natural
resources of the State. Water stored behind a dam represents potential energy
which can create a hazard to life and property located downstream of the dam.
At all times the risks associated with the storage of water must be minimized.
This document deals with the engineering guidelines for the proper design of a
dam. In order for a dam to safely fulfill its intended function, the dam must
also be constructed, operated and maintained properly.

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